Meeting the Mavs

by Lauren Rosen

The 76ers (21-11) are back in South Philadelphia, meeting the Dallas Mavericks (15-15) for the first time this season.

The Sixers will play their last four games prior to the All-Star break at home, facing Dallas Thursday, Cleveland Saturday, Indiana Monday, and Utah Wednesday before Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and the coaching staff head to Atlanta for All-Star 2021.

Simmons on Tuesday was named an Eastern Conference All-Star reserve for the third consecutive season just minutes before the Sixers’ 109-102 win over the Raptors.

“To be a three-time All Star… It’s a real blessing,” Simmons said. “I’m very grateful to be in this position.

In the two-game set versus Toronto, Simmons notched two impressive performances, posting 28 points, nine rebounds, and five assists Sunday, and 15 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists Tuesday.

Tobias Harris led the way for the Sixers in Tuesday’s victory, scoring a team-high 23 points, seven rebounds, five assists, a steal, and two blocks.

Harris shot 8-for-12 from the field, 3-for-4 from long range, and 4-for-5 from the line.

All five Sixer starters - including Furkan Korkmaz, who started in place of Seth Curry (left ankle soreness) - finished in double figures, as did Shake Milton, leading the bench unit with 11 points.

Korkmaz exploded from the jump, tallying 16 points in the first quarter alone. He hit five threes, and finished his outing with 19 points, seven rebounds, and two assists, at a team-high +12.

Korkmaz appreciated the chance to play heavier minutes alongside Simmons and Embiid.

“The game is so easy when you play with [Joel] and Ben. Teams need to help more, and you become more open.”

The Sixers continue to lead the Eastern Conference, holding a 0.5 game lead over the No. 2 Nets (21-12), and a 2.0 game lead over the No. 3 Bucks (19-13).

Thursday’s contest tips at 7:00 p.m. ET.

Opponent Outlook:

The .500 Mavericks currently hold the No. 9 seed in the Western Conference, trailing the No. 8 Warriors by one game.

Dallas has been hot lately, winning seven of their last 10, and riding a two-game winning streak into Thursday’s matchup.

Western Conference All-Star starter Luka Doncic leads the Mavericks in scoring (28.9 ppg), rebounding (8.6 rpg), sharing (9.2 apg), and stealing (1.0 spg).

Former Sixer Josh Richardson is averaging 12.9 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game in his first season as a Maverick.

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